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Electric Vehicles 101 Webinar To Be Held December 5

Electric Vehicles 101 Webinar To Be Held December 5

By Tracey Leibach

November 6, 2019

Electric vehicles are increasing in popularity, with new models entering the market all the time. But what is an electric vehicle, and what isn’t? Here’s a quick Electric Vehicles 101.

A basic conventional car runs on an internal combustion engine: drivers add gasoline, it ignites and releases energy that is translated into motion. In the process, however, the vehicle releases carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. In the United States, the transportation sector is responsible for 28% of greenhouse gas emissions, more than any other sector.

An electric vehicle (EV), in contrast, runs on an electric current. There are three main types of vehicle commonly called "electric," and it's worth knowing the difference:

  1. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) run only on electricity. BEVs charge the car's battery with electricity. That battery then powers the electric motor, which propels the car forward. Since the car itself is not burning a fuel to generate movement, there are no tail-pipe emissions. Instead, the carbon footprint of a BEV depends on how the electricity that runs it is produced.

  2. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) combine a battery-powered electric motor with an internal combustion engine. Drivers charge their vehicles with electricity and use it much like an all-electric vehicle. However, if and when it runs out of charge, the gasoline provides fuel as a back-up. While running only on electricity, a PHEV's carbon footprint again depends on the fuel mix that generated the electricity. As soon as the internal combustion engine switches on, the engine's tail-pipe emissions add to the vehicle's carbon footprint.

  3. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) also combine an internal combustion engine and an electric propulsion system. However, they cannot be plugged in to charge them with electricity, so they are not strictly speaking “EVs”. However, HEVs are more efficient than traditional internal combustion engines because they take advantage of technologies such as regenerative braking.

Visit for more information. A free webinar on EVs is being held December 5.

What: Drive Green with National Grid Webinar

When: Thursday, December 5, 12 pm, or 7 pm

Get tickets: RSVP here

The team running the webinar is Green Energy Consumers Alliance, the nonprofit organization working with National Grid to bring you Drive Green with National Grid. For questions, they can be reached at


Reeve Hamilton
Director of Media Relations and Communications

(518) 833-4277

For general inquiries:

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.